Saturday, August 28, 2010

90 Days

A short and powerful PSA video about AIDS treatment. Stick around for the ending. It *will* get you, I promise.

(Related: The Topsy Foundation)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wailing Banshees

From MeFi: a voice teacher analyzes five metal vocalists.

A fun little read if, like me, you admire the howlings of Dickinson, Osbourne, Halford et al. I only wish they had included AC/DC's Brian Johnson and Deep Purple's Ian Gillian in the list.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hari Prasad -Update

"For most of you concerned about the plight of Hari Prasad, let me give you the good news. He is doing fine."
An update from Indian EVM website.

Meanwhile, India's Election Commission has denied involvement in Hari Prasad's arrest. Yeah, right.

In related news, security researchers in the US successfully hacked a voting machine and modified it to run a piece of software that can ROCK democracies everywhere: Pac-Man.

The hack seems ridiculously simple. So why do governments expect citizens to trust this technology?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hari Prasad

Hari Prasad was arrested by Indian police on August 21 on charges of stealing an electronic voting machine. (Last link goes to an interview with Mr. Prasad.)

Here's an audio-only interview with him as he was being driven by the police from Hyderabad to Mumbai.

Now that the "sleuths" have solved the Mystery of The Missing Electronic Voting Machine, Indians can breathe easy.


"Crowded Sidewalk"

In 1959, a man, now regarded by Americans as one of their greatest cultural icons, was ordered by a policeman to move from a crowded sidewalk.

We immigrants owe more to the Civil Rights movement than we understand.

(Via Reddit)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Herzog Will Take Questions

David Lynch tweets:
"Twitter Friends, here's a chance to ask the great Werner Herzog any question. Tweet your question to @1stlookstudios by Mon morning Aug 23!"
Could you ever, in your craziest, wildest dreams, have imagined DAVID LYNCH telling you to ask WERNER HERZOG "any question"?

Next time you feel jaded about technology and the Net, remember this: right now, you can ask Werner Herzog any question. And you heard it from David Lynch.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roger That, Roger

Ebert on Hitchens.

"I was asked at lunch today who or what I worshipped. The question was asked sincerely, and in the same spirit I responded that I worshipped whatever there might be outside knowledge. I worship the void. The mystery. And the ability of our human minds to perceive an unanswerable mystery."
(Uh, a little playlist synchronicity here: Flaming Lips' "Do you realize" just came on. "Everyone you know someday will die". Delightful way to start a sunny Saturday afternoon.)

More than any argument, that little cartoon in Ebert's post sums up my feeling about this will-he-or-won't-he-turn-to-God business: believe or don't believe, does it eventually matter?

A few years ago, a cancer-stricken Warren Zevon famously said this to David Letterman: "enjoy every sandwich".

And really, what more is there to know?

Friday, August 13, 2010


In just about every high school, every year, one ultra-serious kid discovers Ayn Rand and decides it is much too important to keep that "philosophy" to himself. And so he proceeds to share it with the rest of the class.

I can bet this man must have been one of those kids:
"One man drove 12,238 miles and across 30 states in the U.S. to scrawl a message that could only be viewed using Google Earth. His big shoutout: "Read Ayn Rand."
(From Gizmodo)

Assuming a mileage of about 30 mpg, he spent more than a thousand dollars (~$3/gallon) to tell the world to read Ayn Rand?

I'm sure the idea of donating a thousand dollars to a library in need would have appeared totally incompatible with his favorite writer's philosophy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There Are Processes I'll Remember All My Life

"Sufficient, perhaps, just to stop and think how strange it is that the inner core, imperviously locked away since the creation of the world, may yet be added to the long list of other solid-looking things, such as the Himalayas and the Atlantic Ocean and the planet itself, that are in some ways better understood not as places, but as processes."
The Economist's commentary on a paper that was recently published in Nature, the title of which sounds like a Syd-era Pink Floyd song: "Melting-induced stratification above the Earth’s inner core due to convective translation".

I'm going to get me a cold beer and decide, one sip at a time, if that story makes me depressed or elated or both or neither. Alvy Singer *was* right - the universe *is* expanding and I am not doing my homework.


Friday, August 06, 2010


My introduction to Bobby Hebb's classic song was not through jazz (Pat Martino, tearing it up), Motown or R&B but bad old disco (out-of-sync audio/video; oh the lulz).

Bobby Hebb died earlier this week.

I am not too familiar with his music but I will say this: "Sunny" ruined my tape recorder's head and made eighth grade tolerable.